Monday, December 3, 2007

Aliens Invade Branchville, South Carolina


No, it was not the results of the invading firebrands of General Sherman from the North. But, it resulted from decades of neglect and natures elements of rail, snow, sleet, ice, and very high winds most recently.

This was not the original freight depot on the old South Carolina Canal & Railway Company's railroad line, but one that replaced the original when it became to small the handle the booming cotton industry in the Orangeburg County region of the South Carolina Lowcountry. At that time, the Branchville Town Council petitioned the S.C. State Legislature to prevail upon the Railroad Company to build a new and larger freight depot and to at the same time renovate and expand the nearby Branchville Railroad Passenger Depot.

Over time, both of these demands of the South Carolina Canal & Railway Company, or it's succdessor -- The Southern Railway Company -- were accepted. And it was the new and enlarged Branchville Freight Depot which has now become ancient and worn out.

It is way past due, but The Town of Branchville has now begun efforts to restore the Old Branchville Freight Depot to, at least, some semblence of its former utilitarian glory. But, it never was intended to compete with Branchville's "CROWN JEWEL" -- THE BRANCHVILLE RAILROAD SHRINE AND DEPOT MUSEUM.

Just after Thanksgiving -- 2007, the restoration efforts began in Branchville. After the Town of Branchville's Town Council & Mayor put out for bids the construction contract, all bids were deemed to far above the required amount. Because there in not enough monies on hand for a complete restoration. So, this resulted in the contracting of a company who agreed to provide restorative work not to exceed the on hand monies for that purpose.

The problem with that method it that there was no bidding allowed on the new criteria.

And it seems that the reason that the costs are somewhat lower now, is that alien labor is being employed to renew the old freight depot. It is a mixed blessing, so to speak.

Many citizens in America during these days of concern over security, see the mass invasion of our homeland by illegal aliens across our unguarded borders as a potential threat.

Therefore, the sight of seeing those who seem to be from South of Our Borders providing the work on the old freight depot was somewhat disconcerting. And the questions which naturally arose included: "Are those aliens???", and "Are they illegal aliens???"

We are sure that the answers will eventually be given to the citizens of Branchville

Friday, June 1, 2007

A Short Stroll South of Main Intersetion -- Branchville,SC

This is a collage of photos of Branchvill homes just South of the main intersection of Hwy 21 and Hyw 78 for a few blocks. It is a most pleasant stroll and there is a Dollar General store handy for whatever needs you might have developed on the highway.

The main intersection of downtown Branchville, South Carolina, is where Highway 78 comes from Bamberg in the West and crosses Highway 21 which feeds in travelors from Orangeburg to the North of Branchville.

From this main highway intersection, you are only one block from the internationally famous Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum where the First Railroad Junction in the World was constructed and is located.

Most people who make that one block walk like to stop in at The Churn for a burger and a soda snack. But the China Town restaruant can provide a heavier meal for those who are really hungry.

The Old Merchants Hotel on Main Street

When the "drummers", who were the traveling salesmen, who rode into Branchville on the early locomotive pulled trains, with both their freight and passenger cars, arrived, they needed only to walk across the street about half a block for a well deserved rest and a filling and delicious meal awaiting them at the Old Merchants Hotel.


When you visit the Branchville Depot Shrine and Museum and experience the feeling of history which surrounds the World's First Railroad Junction, then you will want to take a slow stroll a few blocks in both directions, in order to also get the feel of the many beautiful homes which have housed the generations of merchants, farmers, and railroad workers since Branchville was founded.

And also, you will be impressed with several of the historic old buildings in which the food, hardware, and feed and seed businesses are located. Stop in and talk to the merchants and ask them about showing you whatever antiques have decorated their stores for decades. There are some real treasures that you will not want to miss.

Edisto Memories

I am beginning this web page on June 1, 2007, under the name of EDISTO MEMORIES, because I was raised in the "Low-country" of South Carolina which is watered by the Edisto River. That river has been the center of many activities and the basis of the precious memories of generations of the "Low-country" residents since the ancestors arrived from the "old country".

Many of my postings will be from a column -- Eddie's Edisto Memories -- which is periodically published in a county weekly newspaper in the area and the columns are the way that I look back into the wonderful history of the people and area of "Low-country" South Carolina.

I currently live in the South Carolina "Low-country" area which is also home to the World's First Railroad Junction. The Branchville (SC) Railroad Depot and Museum is a popular tourist stop here in my adopted home town in Orangeburg County.